PS Audio DLIII Cullen Mod IV versus Benchmark DAC1

Which would you prefer? My system could probably use a touch of warmth but I value accuracy and dynamics. Don't "need" USB but it may prove useful down the road. Don't need the pre functionality of the Benchmark, but the headphone amp is a nice to have.

Agree with having USB for "futureproofing"

I've not heard either DAC, but have a pair of Cullen "Wyred 4 Sound" monoblocks driving my 2 channel stereo subs and a 7 channel driving my HT speakers. The build quality, fit/finish and sound make them well worth their cost.

I own the PSA-DLIII DAC with the Cullen -Stage IV upgrade, which I recommend over the stage III version. What matters here, however, is your current system. Depending on what you are running, the $1700 investment may not net you the improvements that you are hoping to gain.
The Cullen PS stomps all over the Benchmark. The Benchmark has a treadbare, cold sound with bass that is lacking in weight and extension. The Cullen has no competition at its price point that I know of.

Be wary - if the Cullen PS stomps all over the Benchmark then you are
looking at a vastly different sound. I can't tell you what you want in terms of
sound as it is all subjective and what creates synergy with your system -
speakers and amp. What I can tell you is that Benchmark is about as neutral
or accurate as it gets - this may or may not work in your system. My
suggestion would be to get one on 30 day trial and see for yourself whether it
works or not.

Benchmark is as neutral as it gets - no warmth but no harshness either - a
very clean or clinical "thin" sound especially noticeable in the
lower midrange compared to other DAC's - you hear an awful lot with this
presentation - so you really need to love the raw sound of your speakers for
it to work, IMHO.

If you are "rolling DAC's" to tweak the right sound for you out of
your system then Benchmark will NOT help you one bit. Although, on the
headphone side of things it every bit as good as people say. I am no headfi
person but it took commanding control of my AKG 240's (old 600 ohms) and
made the bass the cleanest I have heard with them since I bought them in
1983. If you have low impedance high sensitivity headphones (like my pair of
Senn HD 25 pros used on the drum kit) then the benefits are much less.
I agree with Shardone - it depends on what kind of sound you want, your other equipment, and your room. Try the stock Benchmark on trial first. If you like neutral and it works with your setup, then you will be very happy with it. If you want more dynamics, a more liquid midrange, and deep, tight, and articulate bass, then the Cullen Mod DL3 is a stud. You will be very satisfied either way you choose.

For the record, I own the DL3 with the level 3 mod (my source already had a phase corrected coax, which is the difference between level 3 & 4 mods).
I'm surprised that there is not more buzz about this unit. It is so outstanding, it makes everything else sound like details are missing, bass is weak, and the sound is dead and grey-sounding.

I have the Stage IV, but I don't use the Nextgen rca outputs, because I run it balanced into a balanced preamp, and as a favor from Rick Cullen, I had Neutrik jacks put in when he built the unit, as the PS ones look like Neutrik, but they are from China. I actually have two identical units as I was going to put a second system together, but ran out of money and took a big cut in pay. It's sitting in the box doing nothing, but I'm having problems deciding to part with it, because these units are in a special class of their own.
You know, I agree with Kevziek, in that the Cullen Stage IV PS-III is in a different league than many of the DACs in that same price-range (and even beyond that range too), but I have heard from people who have listened to the new PS Audio PWD DAC, and I have also read reviews of this unit - and they all say the PWD is in a totally different league than the DL-III and the Stage IV upgrade – as well as the outrageous five-figure DACs – no names mentioned. I wish I was in a position to trade my Stage IV unit for the PWD. If you are open to spending $3,000, I would say to go with the PWD-or save up for a later purchase.